CHICAGO — Four Chicago men wrongfully imprisoned for their alleged involvement in a 1995 double murder during a robbery have filed a federal lawsuit accusing police and Cook County prosecutors of coercion and withholding evidence.
The convictions of Charles Johnson, Larod Styles, LaShawn Ezell and Troshawn McCoy were overturned in 2017. That was seven years after new fingerprint evidence implicated a man known to have argued with the two victims shortly before their deaths.
The lawsuits name 13 former Chicago police detectives as defendants. Among those named are James Cassidy and Kenneth Boudreau. The two had obtained confessions in multiple cases where other evidence would eventually show the suspects were innocent.
The lawsuits allege the city's failure to identify and track officers who committed misconduct, including obtaining coerced and false confessions, amounted to a de facto policy that led officers "to believe they could act with impunity."